Jenny Wollerman

Jenny Wollerman profile picture

Senior Lecturer, Classical Performance School of Music


MMus Curtis, BSc, LTCL


Senior Lecturer, Classical Performance - Voice


Jenny Wollerman is one of New Zealand’s best known sopranos and continues an active performing career. She has taught singing at the New Zealand School of Music since 2003. In 2005 her teaching gained national recognition when two of her students, Madeleine Pierard and Allison Cormack, won First and Second Place in the Lexus Song Quest, New Zealand’s premier singing competition (formerly known as the Mobil Song Quest).

Jenny began her vocal training at Victoria University of Wellington and Wellington Polytechnic, going on to study in Philadelphia at the Curtis Institute of Music. She studied there for four years with renowned New York voice teacher Marlena Malas, graduating in 1991 with a Master of Music in opera performance. She then moved to London where she studied under Audrey Langford and Eduardo Asqueth before returning to pursue her career in Australia and New Zealand.

While overseas she took part in advanced summer courses including the ECOV summer school at Alden Biesen in Belgium, and the Art Song course given by Martin Isepp at the Banff Centre for the Arts, in Banff, Canada. Short courses at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh included ‘Russian Song’ with Sergei Leiferkus, ‘Mahler Songs’ with Martin Isepp and ‘French Song’ with Hugues Cuenod and Suzanne Danco.

Engagements since her return have included Léïla in Les Pecheurs de Perles for the State Opera of South Australia, Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the Tasmanian Symphony and Ravel’s Shéhérazade song cycle with the West Australian and Adelaide Symphony orchestras.

Other opera engagements have included Micaëla, Mimì and Xenia (Boris Godunov) for NZ Opera, Eurydice in Orphée et Eurydice for the NZ International Festival, Léïla, Fiordiligi, Pamina, and Johanna in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.

Jenny is noted for her recital work as well as her concert and opera performances. She has appeared in the NZ International Festival since 1994, in such diverse works as Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Handel’s L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Company and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells. She performed as soprano soloist in the Lord of the Rings Symphony in 2003, at the premiere in Wellington and in Taiwan conducted by John Mauceri. She has recorded the Mendelssohn Midsummer Night’s Dream music with the NZSO for future release on the Naxos label.

As well as her Master of Music Jenny holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington and LTCL in piano performance.

Classical Performance research

Research by Jenny Wollerman (Voice – Lyric Soprano) has a special focus on performance of new works including works by New Zealand composers.

Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn

With James Judd and Pepe Becker (2010, July). Two Naxos recordings: soprano soloist for international release of the complete recordings in English and in German, with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and conductor James Judd. CD recordings released worldwide as special boxed set edition (Naxos 8.570794 and 8.557379) and online.

The Floating Bride, the Crimson Village: song cycle by Ross Harris

With Piers Lane, Tecwyn Evans, & Emma Sayers. (2009, February). Soloist for world premieres of the piano and orchestral versions of the work. Premiered with visiting international pianist Piers Lane in the 2009 Adam Chamber Music Festival. Orchestral premiere with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conductor Tecwyn Evans in 'Made in New Zealand' concert, broadcast live by Radio New Zealand. Studio recording with piano made by Radio NZ for broadcast and online release and as podcasts on iTunes.

Schoenberg String Quartet No 2 and Ross Harris The Abiding Tides

(2010, March). Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 and Ross Harris ‘The Abiding Tides’ song cycle: soloist with New Zealand String Quartet, for New Zealand International Arts Festival and nationwide 10 concert tour for Chamber Music New Zealand ‘Kaleidoscopes’ premium international artist concert series, including world and New Zealand premieres. World premiere of Ross Harris song cycle ‘The Abiding Tides’ NZ International Arts Festival and New Zealand premiere of Schoenberg String Quartet No. 2 in 10 concert nationwide tour for Chamber Music NZ in 2011. Wellington performances recorded for future broadcast by Radio New Zealand. Auckland performance of ‘The Abiding Tides’ broadcast live by Radio New Zealand and recorded with ‘in perpetua’ broadcast rights requested. National tour included performances in prestigious venues in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, Hamilton, Invercargill, Christchurch.